Ahhhh, the perfect drink on a hot day. This cherry limeade hit the spot and then some. A little tart and a little sweet, you can make this regular or diet. The diet version isn’t completely carbohydrate-free. For that, you can omit the lime juice and cherries and instead use diet syrups, like the ones available from Torani. They make a wide range of diet fruit (and other) flavored syrups. We love them on sno-cones too!
I recommend not storing this cherry limeade with the lime slices if you have any leftovers. The next day it’ll get mighty darned ‘limey’. Just drop the slices in when you are ready to serve, and remove them if you need to refrigerate the remainder overnight.
It’s ok if after you make this beef enchilada dip you decide to put down your tortilla chip and grab a spoon and eat it like chili. I’m not going to blame you one single bit. The enchilada sauce has that great southwestern spiciness to it. Adding some ground beef and toppings make it not only a great dip but also a great chili. I used my fire-roasted enchilada sauce when I made this beef enchilada dip. The char flavor comes thru, making the tomato sauce oh so much better. I often find myself substituting fire-roasted versions of peppers and tomatoes in recipes. Specially when the recipes call for chiles or jalapenos.
I’ve fried (and devoured) my share of deep-fried onion rings. And deep-fried pickles. And deep-fried jalapenos. These deep-fried pepper rings were different. The peppers are a bit crunchy. And they’re a bit sweet. You get that great pepper flavor, all surrounded in a great crunchy coating that sticks to each and every pepper perfectly. Great for dipping.
I absolutely loved the dipping sauce for these deep-fried pepper rings. I’m a huge fan of Old Bay. Anita doesn’t like it if it’s too strong. But she loved this sauce. It has the just the right amount of Old Bay. It’d be great for dipping much more than just these rings. Make extra and use it with chips, fries and fresh veggies.
I didn’t plant a pepper garden this year. But on what I now call “Christmas in Summer”, our neighbor brought us a big ole batch of jalapenos. I knew exactly what I was going to make because I’ve been jonesin’ for deep-fried jalapeno slices for a while. Sure, they pack a bit of heat, but honestly, they aren’t that hot. The batter is perfect, not hiding that great pepper flavor. And just in case we find a hot ring or two, we serve them with Ranch dressing for dipping and cooling.
I admit it. Just like I do with my copycat Long John Silver’s fish-and-chips, I made extra ‘crunchies’ when I made these deep-fried jalapeno slices. Ya know, the little pieces of crunchy fried batter that end up in the basket. They’re almost as good as the peppers. Almost.
I could probably eat a ton of these blackened fried shrimp. I was already badly addicted to fried shrimp. Then along came these beyond-delicious treats and my addiction somehow got worse. I didn’t even think that was possible. Yummy crunchy batter that has a great light spiciness to it. The batter isn’t too thick. It isn’t too thin. You really just can’t stop eating them.
For a little extra kick, sprinkle the shrimp with more of the seasoning just after you remove them from the hot oil. Why go thru the trouble of making the blackened seasoning from scratch? That store-bought stuff is just way too salty for me. But you’re certainly free to use it.
My two biggest food obsessions? Chicken wings and fried shrimp. I could eat either one any time, any where. I’ve never had wings or shrimp that I didn’t absolutely love. Like these Cajun fried shrimp. Lightly crunchy. Stick-to-the-shrimp batter. A little heat. Perfectly cooked.
This is shrimp done up right. I served these Cajun fried shrimp with a crazy wonderful remoulade that has ended up being a shrimp-dipping staple in our house. It’s great for fries fish, too.
For that little extra ‘something’ sprinkle the shrimp lightly with Old Bay seasoning just before serving.
I can eat an embarrassing amount of crispy fried shrimp. My addiction to these little goodies started as a child. Maybe once every few months we would eat out at Sizzler. I would always get the fried shrimp. I would devour them.
That tradition lives on, believe me. That’s why I make them at home. In bigger batches. These crispy fried shrimp are nice and crispy and have a fantastic lightly savory flavor. No overpowering flavors here, you can still taste the wonderful shrimp. I like to use shrimp that aren’t too big or too small when I make crispy fried shrimp. For me, 21-25 count (that means 21-25 shrimp are in a pound) are the perfect size. If I can get them, I use Louisiana Gulf Shrimp. I believe they have the best flavor but you can use whatever you prefer (or can find).
You can use pre-shelled and pre-deveined shrimp but give them a once-over before using to make sure that there aren’t any shell pieces or veins left. Just in case.
Well, yep, smoked Cheetos are different. And boy, you gotta be careful smoking them too. It doesn’t take much smoke to get these little crunchy morsels mighty smoky. I admit, my first time making them I got distracted and smoked them longer than I should have. I was able to rescue them (the longer they rest after smoking, the more mellow the smoke flavor gets) but I suggest you start with less smoke time, try them, and go from there. They come out totally new, something people won’t expect! Nice and crunchy and smoky cheesy!
To smoke Cheetos you use a cold smoking technique. You do not want high heat. You can get by with temperatures up to 180 F, but I suggest cold smoking, which is generally below 90 F.
I use an A-Maze-N smoke tube when cold smoking. It gives me perfect control over the temperature and produces consistent smoke. I buy wood pellets and stuff the tube completely, then light one end. The tube stays lit for a few hours, perfect for smoking Cheetos. I highly recommend it. It’s also great for adding smoke flavor to dishes being cooked on a gas grill.
The reason I made such a big batch of these deluxe cheddar pretzel bites isn’t because I needed a huge amount for a family get-together. Sure, I needed some, but not a ton. Nope, I made a big batch because I wanted more for myself. Sorry, but it’s true. I was being selfish, but for a good reason. I love them. Crunchy, a bit buttery, and definitely cheesy. And made with real cheese!
You don’t have to use pretzels to make these deluxe cheddar pretzel bites. If you prefer, any cracker will do, specially oyster crackers or saltines. Just don’t substitute something that is strongly flavored and might not go well with the cheddar. That would make for a bowl of sadness.
We’ve all had the ‘standard’ appetizer meatballs. Heck, I’ve had more than my share, I admit it. Proudly. These peach and chili sauce meatballs are not those meatballs, though you might think they are at first. No, these are way, way, way better. The flavor is unmatched. The sauce will have you reaching for a spoon, a straw or even a piece of bread because you don’t want to waste a drop.
These take about 3 hours to make, which gives you 3 hours to come up with some sort of story to tell everyone as to why half of them disappeared before you served them.
I do like spicy foods. So I used Sambal Oelek in these peach and chili sauce meatballs. It’s not overly spicy, but it does add a really nice kick. Now, if I was making these for a get-together or the big game I’d probably make two different batches, one with out the chili sauce, and one with. But for me, the kicked-up version is all I’ll ever need!